Once you’ve started to master the simple quacks, it’s only common progression to move towards a duck feeding call. The quack and duck feeding calls are the two most common to start with and in many forms the calls that you’ll use the most to entice ducks. The best time of the year to practice and begin calling is the spring or summer before duck hunting season. Most new hunters or inexperienced hunters won’t call due to feeling uncomfortable alongside experienced more in tune callers. However, with a lot of practice, mastering the quack and duck feeding call is possible in the offseason.
Basic Quack For New Hunters – How To Blow A Duck Call
Before we jump into the duck feeding call. We need to address the foundation of the duck call, which is the quack. Don’t try and do the feeder call or also known as the feeder chuckle before starting with the duck quack. The basic quack is what essentially will fool most ducks into looking at your decoy spread. Most people assume that the quack is what both male and female or drake and hen mallards make. However, really the quack you hear from a duck is actually a hen. Drake mallards don’t make a quack, instead, they give a deeper raspy one or two-note call. Most people call this a drake whistle sound.
Most duck calls on the market are made to resemble the mallard hen quack. Of course, you can still pick up a drake whistle for pretty cheap. However, most hunters practice making the hen mallard call. Therefore, to do this there are a few steps so that you can blow a duck call correctly.
STEP 1 – Picking Up A Call
When you first pick up a call you want to hold the end of the call between your index finger and thumb. These two fingers are what grip and hold the call up to your mouth. While resting the three remaining fingers on the palm of your hand. These three fingers create an inflection in the sound of the call. Some people think of this as the bill of a duck. The sound is coming from the throat of a duck. Therefore if you call without the inflection you won’t have that “ducky” sound.
STEP 2 – Air Pressure & Quality
Blowing through a duck call is a little more difficult to learn than one would think. It’s not like blowing a birthday candle out. Instead, it’s the same concept has trying to clean a pair of sunglasses where you try and fog the lens. The concept is to blow from your diaphragmÂ and not your cheeks.
STEP 3 – Tongue Placement and The Quack
As soon as you master how to blow, being able to stop the air quickly is what will create the “quack” sound. To do this you have to use the middle of your tongue like a valve and close the air pressure off. This will give your call the sharp stop of pressure needed to make a quack sound. Some people use a particular word to get started, you can think of “hut-hut-hut” or “kanc-kanc-kanc” Then it’s a matter of rolling 5-7 quacks together to sound like a hen mallard.
How To Blow A Duck Call Video Tutorial
Check Out Joey from Midwest Flyways demonstrate a simple basic quack.
Basics of Duck Feeding Call –
Now that you have the basic duck call mastered it makes sense to progress into the second most common duck call. Duck feeding call, feeder chuckle, or also known as the feeder call. It’s one of the most sought-after calls to master. Honestly, this call seems to solidify whether you are a serious duck hunter or not. The most interesting part of the duck feeding call is that this is more of a filler sound than a call that will grab ducks attention. I like to think of this call as one that is keeping the attention of the oncoming ducks. The “quacks” are what grab the attention of passing ducks. Nonetheless, once you figure out how to do the feeder call, it’s one of the most satisfying calls to master.
The duck feeder call can be self-taught. However, it takes plenty of practice to get your air pressure, tongue, and mind to have the muscle memory to perform the call correctly and for an extended period of time. I know for myself it took me a while maybe a whole season even before I had a rhythm and cadence that sounded like a duck. To help learn the call check out the following steps and tips.
STEP 1 – What To Say
Similar to the quack, there are a few common words that you can think of in your head to say into the call. This can help start you down the right path for performing the duck feeding call. Usually, the most common sequence of words is “tick-a-tick-a-tick-a” or “dig-a-dig-a-dig-a.” However, the one thing I have to say to help practice this is to say these into the back of the call so that you can feel yourself breaking over the call between notes. Another tip is to not become dependent on these two sequences of words. As you become proficient in the duck feeder call you’ll notice you aren’t saying these. Instead, they are tools to help you begin learning.
STEP 2 – Tongue Placement
Most people assume to get the rapid rolling feeder call is to “roll your tongue.” However, that isn’t what is occurring to make the feeder call. This is why the quack is so important to learn first. Instead, you are using your tongue as a valve similar to Step 3 in learning the quack. The main difference is how fast you are breaking the call over to stop the air pressure. If you can first start by doing a series of 1-3 duck feeding calls. It will set you up better for a rolling feeder call when you can do dozens of feeder calls combined.
How To Do The Duck Feeder Call
Joey From Midwest Flyways does a great job of teaching the basics of the duck feeding call.
When To Use The Duck Feeding Call –
As I stated before the feeder call is a unique call that is more of a filler note. Most guys tend to overuse this call. They start by calling at ducks and as soon as the ducks lock up and come into their spread they hit them with a feeder call. Easily 80% of the duck hunters use that same sequence for ducks. Simply put, ducks become quite used to the feeder call and by late season that isn’t what will entice them to your decoys. Instead, the feeder chuckle should be a few notes to let passing birds know that there is some feeding or gathering occurring, however, mix in quacks during your feeder calls. This will help break up the most common sequence.
The best way to understand when and how the feeder call is used. Is to go to your local runoff pond or lake filled with Mallards over the summer. You’ll get a clear picture of how much the duck feeding call is used versus the basic quack.
Duck Hunting Tip – If you are looking to upgrade or just curious about the best duck calls, check out the best custom duck calls article. A quality duck call will help you to sound more like an actual mallard. However, it won’t make you a better caller, but practice will.